Monday, December 29, 2008

No Man's Week

Folks are penning lovely, reflective posts about the-year-that-was, but I'm among the legions of parents who won't feel like it's 2009 until school is back in session on January 5th. This week, then, I'm suspended happily in a no man's land of peaceful putzing around with my little family. Today was Ri and Vi's 9th birthday, and we took them to the new California Academy of Sciences, where they discreetly shrieked their way through the rainforest (green anaconda! piranhas! freakiest frogs EVER), worked their way around the aquarium with their jaws dropped (I could have sat in front of the Philippine coral reef for an hour), and became giddy with slight motion sickness in the planetarium (Vida raised her hand in front of the whole auditorium and correctly answered a question posed by the planetarium lady; I think this portends a future appearance on Jeopardy). If you have zero aversion to crowds, I recommend a thorough exploration. Other random facts about our visit:

1. Risa has a pathological fear of butterflies. The air was thick with them when we reached the rainforest canopy, and my poor little 9-year-old started to shake. After a few minutes, one of the butterflies—royal blue and big as a bird—landed on my arm (you realize what this means, do you not? It means that I am a PRINCESS), and a small crowd gathered around. Risa was right beside me, breathing normally, so I thought she'd conquered her discomfort. But then the butterfly flitted away, and she was back to cowering. At one point, she became so agitated that she SWATTED at a butterfly, so I had no choice but to rush her back down to to the rainforest floor. Weirdo.

2. I like penguins.

3. They served pretty good pho in the cafe. *scratches head in confusion* They are so green and healthy in there, though, that they only offered natural sodas and water (pfffft), which means that I was deprived of the lunchtime Diet Coke that basically ensures my daily survival.

4. I also like moon jellies.

5. Lea wanted to touch a starfish in the tidepool area, but kept saying the water was "too deep." We finally gave up on her and started to move on to the next thing. She then realized that she REALLY, REALLY wanted to touch a starfish. I led her to the other side of the tidepool (since we were, by this time, closer to that end) but she didn't want to touch any of THOSE starfish, she wanted to touch the starfish that we had all touched, which meant working our way back against the tide (get it? get it?!!). Normally I would have done my oh-no-you-don't-young-lady-the-whole-world-does-not-revolve-around-your-whims-and-wishes thing, but there was something about the situation that made me give in. I brought her back, held her hand, put it in the water with mine, and together we touched the starfish. I said, "Okay?" and then she just leaned against me and a single, heartbreaking tear slid down her cheek. Weirdo.

6. And also electric eels.

7. There are many times when the spousal unit's significant height comes in handy, but never more so than in extreme crowd conditions. Others may be swiveling their heads around or standing on their tip-toes to locate their partners, but I never have a problem finding home.

8. But not so much the albino alligator.

I have no decent pictures from today's activities, so I will post two from yesterday's when Risa and Vida spent three hours playing tetherball, a sport (is it a sport?) for which their passion knows no bounds. Here they are engaging in one of their cutthroat matches:

Lea has no interest in tetherball. Instead, she spent her time perfecting ever more dangerous tricks on her scooter. Behold her death-defying deep squat maneuver:

Don't try this at home.


Gura said...

I love the coral reef, but got motion sickness at the Planetarium (could I just rent the dvd?). I could watch the pendulum for days.

Marianne said...


I was ALMOST inside yesterday! What time did you go? We gave up on the line ...


ver said...

We're members (for us, a membership pays for itself in 1.5 visits!!), so we knew we'd be in good shape if we just arrived at 9:00. The line was only to the bottom of the staircase. By 10:00, though, a friend told us there was an hour wait even in the member line!

Frank said...

Trying to get into CAOS as a volenteer tankdiver. I'm lucky already had first interview.just waiting for callback.will see if its meant to be? little veronica it good to see you are doing great.
but not so little anymore.the R.M.days came flooding back in the brain.oh yeah your auntie Yvonne just refinanced me.small world yeah! I thought I leave a comment

ver said...

FRANKIE?! Hello! Can't wait to tell Kuya that you stopped by! You are the fourth or fifth old friend of his to find this space. How weird.

CAOS has volunteer tankdivers? That would be an excellent gig. Um, do they have volunteer butterfly tamers? Because I'm all over that. Anyways, will keep my fingers crossed for you.

Thanks for visiting!

Shuboy said...

oh my god. what are you???? Like a magnet for Kuya Ricky's old friends??? Why is it that my old friends never find you? ( maybe cuz I always pretended to be an only child?)

Frank said...

Hey VER, piease excuse for jumpin on your nesting ground.I just wanted to connect the dots!Its great to run in to D.C. friends.
please give big hugs to the compilments on the way you express yourself in your nesting ground blogger. thanks F.C.
Happy new YEAR! let me check on the
mariposa tamers for you.

ver said...

Stop by any time, Frank(ie)! Will pass along your greetings to my family ("Shuboy" is Mikey, by the way). Happy new year to you, too!

lostboy said...

ha! a momentary appearence &i'm gone...

ver said...

Um, hi Kuya.

Shuboy said...

a "lostboy" AND a "Shuboy"? Nice.

COACHmickey said...

Folks - Hello!
I must simply say - Ver " Clap Clap Clap!"

What Frank mentioned above, is nothing but a compliment much deserved.

Your blogsite and your writing skills would be a great asset to the group that we are trying to launch. Re: Global Issues

Interested or curious or need more details, you know where to find me!

Frank said...

Ver,go get em!See that's what I'm talken about! Frank(IE)

COACHmickey said...

thanks for the back up! I am currently working on my blogsite...hope you folks visit me sometime.
I won't pretend that I am a writer; however, I am true to myself and will share good thoughts, good words which will lead to good deeds.

Thanks All!
V - Had a great time with the kids last night. Sorry took us too long. I was going to take them to the SPA but decided, you might be getting worried. LOL